Wall Street's main indexes were set for a slightly higher open on Wednesday, a day after their worst performance of the year, as investors awaited minutes from the Federal Reserve's policy meeting for fresh clues on the trajectory of interest rates.

U.S. stocks shed more than 2% on Tuesday as investors worried that a rebound in U.S. business activity in February could mean interest rates might need to stay higher for longer.

Minutes from the Fed's Jan. 31-Feb. 1 meeting, expected at 2:00 p.m. ET (1900 GMT), are expected to detail the breadth of debate at the central bank over how much further interest rates may need to be raised to slow inflation.

"The obvious focus today is on the Fed minutes which would indicate that the inflation fight is still not over and that there are areas that are showing pockets of strength with the consumer still resilient," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities.

"We expect all indicators to point to the Fed remaining hawkish in its inflation fight."

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said the U.S. central bank needs to get inflation on to a sustainable path down toward its 2% goal this year or else risk a repeat of the 1970s, when rates had to be repeatedly ratcheted up.

New York Fed President John Williams, a voting member of the rate-setting committee this year, is scheduled to speak later in the day.

Following a market rout in 2022, the three major indexes logged monthly gains in January as investors hoped the Fed would pause its rate hikes and perhaps turn a corner in its monetary policy tightening around the year-end.

However, stocks have had a volatile run in February as traders priced in higher interest rates for longer, considering inflation remains above the 2% target in the face of a sturdy economy.

Money market participants expect rates to peak at 5.35% by July and stay around those levels till the end of 2023.

At 8:42 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 40 points, or 0.12%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 6 points, or 0.15%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 30.5 points, or 0.25%.

A Reuters poll showed that a majority of analysts expect the benchmark S&P 500 index to advance 5% by year-end but high interest rates and inflation have many strategists predicting a correction within the next three months.

Growth names like Tesla Inc, Nvidia Corp, Qualcomm Inc and Amazon.com Inc edged higher as the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes slid from multi-month highs.

Palo Alto Networks Inc rose 9.8% in premarket trading after the cybersecurity company raised its annual profit forecast.

U.S.-listed shares of Baidu Inc advanced 7.0% after China's e-commerce beat fourth-quarter revenue estimates and announced a new share repurchase program.

CoStar Group dropped 13.7% as the online real estate marketplace provider said it was no longer in talks to buy Realtor.com-owner Move Inc from News Corp and forecast disappointing first-quarter revenue.

Intel Corp slid 0.9% after the chipmaker slashed its quarterly dividend.